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UK Government unveils its approach to regulating AI

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) yesterday launched its highly anticipated AI white paper, ‘A pro-innovation approach to AI regulation’, which will guide the use of AI in the UK.

Included within DSIT’s press release, the approach laid out in the white paper ‘A pro-innovation approach to AI regulation’ which will enable responsible innovation, making it easier for businesses to innovate, grow and create jobs, whilst maintaining public trust. This announcement comes following the government’s commitments to build an expert taskforce to develop the UK’s capabilities into foundation models as well as a £2m sandbox in their recent Spring Budget 2023.

The white paper introduces an approach to AI regulation that is principles-based, agile and light-touch to promote responsible innovation. Rather than establishing a single AI regulator, the government will coordinate existing regulators to produce a context-specific approach, that is designed according to how AI is being used across different sectors.

This reflects techUK’s recommendations for a pro-innovation, coordinated and context-specific approach, as well as the need to acknowledge and map current regulations. techUK calls for the government to move at pace in providing adequate capabilities to regulators and ensure their approach is interoperable with international approaches.

This will all be underpinned by a framework consisting of 5 key principles to facilitate and inform the responsible adoption of AI in all sectors:

  1. Safety, security and robustness
  2. Appropriate transparency and explainability
  3. Fairness
  4. Accountability and governance
  5. Contestability and redress

These principles will initially be introduced on a non-statutory basis to prevent hampering innovation and will be upheld through a number of central support functions established within government. These functions will support regulators and work with actors across industry, academia and civil society to best support the ethical adoption of AI. Statutory regulations will only be implemented after careful consideration if it is seen fit, and when parliamentary time allows.

It also mentions that the government will launch a portfolio of AI assurance techniques in Spring 2023, which has been developed in collaboration with techUK.

Click here for the full press release


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